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General Category => Beer Recipes => Topic started by: gmac on December 05, 2012, 04:29:44 PM

Title: Hopping levels to balance a big milk stout
Post by: gmac on December 05, 2012, 04:29:44 PM
I'm gonna try my first big beer.  I wanna do a big Imperial milk stout but I'm getting caught up in the amount of hops to use.
Here's the grain bill:
12 lbs Maris Otter
1 lb C120
8 oz Roasted Barley
8 oz Pale Chocolate
4 oz Black Patent
1 lb lactose
1 lb sucrose (caramelized before adding to boil kettle).
Vanilla bean added after initial fermentation subsides.

Beersmith says about 1.100 for a 5 gal batch.  I was going to just use Magnum instead of EKG because there is no flavour addition and if I just want bitter, Magnum would be easier.  I'm thinking 1 oz of 13.5% AA US Magnum for an anticipated 33 IBU but is that enough to balance that much malt?  I know it's supposed to be sweet, I just don't want syrup.

It's going onto a large pitch of WLP007 that I have ready.  Beersmith is telling me estimated FG of 1.013 which I don't believe for a second with that much malt and lactose.  I do not yet have a way to oxygenate this wort besides the shaking method.  I know that probably won't be sufficient but I've been unsuccessful finding an affordable O2 option (I haven't found those little tanks in the hardware store that you guys all seem to be able to get).
Title: Re: Hopping levels to balance a big milk stout
Post by: tcanova on December 05, 2012, 05:29:02 PM
I would think that recipe could handle up to 60 IBUs but that may just be me.  I recently brewed an Oatmeal stout that was only 1.055 OG but came in at around 40 IBUs and was quite nicely balanced.

As far as the O2 containers, if you have a Lowes they are in the tool section over by the welding equipment.
Title: Re: Hopping levels to balance a big milk stout
Post by: hamiltont on December 05, 2012, 08:33:18 PM
If I were a bettin' man I'd put money on ~1.020 FG due to the pound of C120 & a pound of lactose. IMO, that's where I like them to be anyway. It is a Sweet Stout and you're really not looking to balance it with the hops. 60 IBU's might be okay. I'd probably stick with the ~33 IBU's or just a skosh more...  YMMV.  I wouldn't be afraid to put a pound of Chocolate in it either. Personal preference I guess. Love that chocolate... Cheers!!!
Title: Re: Hopping levels to balance a big milk stout
Post by: Jimmy K on December 05, 2012, 09:07:10 PM
I'd guess a higher FG too. Beersmith doesn't seem to account for the fermentability of ingredients.
 
I'm doing an RIS from the Sept/Oct 2010 Zymurgy. It has an OG of 1.090 and 39 IBU.
Title: Re: Hopping levels to balance a big milk stout
Post by: Jimmy K on December 06, 2012, 12:09:21 AM
I just opened my fridge and saw that the RIS also uses magnum hops.
Title: Re: Hopping levels to balance a big milk stout
Post by: gmac on December 06, 2012, 02:22:48 AM
I'll shoot for 40 IBU's (maybe 40 grams of Magnum or so).
Thanks all.
Title: Re: Hopping levels to balance a big milk stout
Post by: Jimmy K on December 06, 2012, 02:51:36 AM
I'll shoot for 40 IBU's (maybe 40 grams of Magnum or so).
Thanks all.

What's a gram?  ;)
Title: Re: Hopping levels to balance a big milk stout
Post by: tschmidlin on December 06, 2012, 06:16:12 AM
If you want residual sweetness, why are you adding sucrose which will just dry it out?  Lactose isn't all that sweet.

I think 40 IBUs is a good target.
Title: Re: Hopping levels to balance a big milk stout
Post by: gmac on December 06, 2012, 02:03:55 PM
If you want residual sweetness, why are you adding sucrose which will just dry it out?  Lactose isn't all that sweet.

I think 40 IBUs is a good target.

I'm going for that "creme brulee" sort of thing.  That's why I'm going to caramelize the sugar first in hopes of getting some burnt sugar type flavours.  May not work but I figured I'd give it a try.  I know the sugar will dry it out but I figured with a lb of lactose and a lb of C120 I would still get some sweetness. 
Plus, I did want to get the alcohol up a bit.  Maybe I should go with 1/2 a lb of caramelized sucrose for the flavour aspect and see if I get what I'm after without drying it out too much.  But, the goal is toasted marshmallow more than anything else (note the vanilla bean in there too).
Title: Re: Re: Hopping levels to balance a big milk stout
Post by: erockrph on December 06, 2012, 02:31:25 PM

I'm going for that "creme brulee" sort of thing.  That's why I'm going to caramelize the sugar first in hopes of getting some burnt sugar type flavours.  May not work but I figured I'd give it a try.  I know the sugar will dry it out but I figured with a lb of lactose and a lb of C120 I would still get some sweetness. 
Plus, I did want to get the alcohol up a bit.  Maybe I should go with 1/2 a lb of caramelized sucrose for the flavour aspect and see if I get what I'm after without drying it out too much.  But, the goal is toasted marshmallow more than anything else (note the vanilla bean in there too).

Maybe one of the lighter Candi Syrups may get you what you're looking for?
Title: Re: Hopping levels to balance a big milk stout
Post by: mmitchem on December 06, 2012, 02:33:19 PM
I made a milk stout for a wedding this fall. The best one i have ever made by far. 39.5 IBU with a 1.059 OG, so that would give a BU:GU ratio of around .67

The reduced hopping is what gives the bigger impression of sweetness.
Title: Re: Hopping levels to balance a big milk stout
Post by: hamiltont on December 06, 2012, 02:34:42 PM
If you want residual sweetness, why are you adding sucrose which will just dry it out?  Lactose isn't all that sweet.

I think 40 IBUs is a good target.

I'm going for that "creme brulee" sort of thing.  That's why I'm going to caramelize the sugar first in hopes of getting some burnt sugar type flavours.  May not work but I figured I'd give it a try.  I know the sugar will dry it out but I figured with a lb of lactose and a lb of C120 I would still get some sweetness. 
Plus, I did want to get the alcohol up a bit.  Maybe I should go with 1/2 a lb of caramelized sucrose for the flavour aspect and see if I get what I'm after without drying it out too much.  But, the goal is toasted marshmallow more than anything else (note the vanilla bean in there too).

Just a thought.... Rather than the caramelized sucrose you might consider taking a gallon of the wort & boiling it separately, reducing it down to a pint or so of syrup. I do this with my Strong Scotch Ales. May not be exactly what you're looking for but I thought I'd throw it out there...  Cheers!!!
Title: Re: Hopping levels to balance a big milk stout
Post by: Jimmy K on December 06, 2012, 03:13:29 PM
I'm going for that "creme brulee" sort of thing.  That's why I'm going to caramelize the sugar first in hopes of getting some burnt sugar type flavours.  May not work but I figured I'd give it a try.  I know the sugar will dry it out but I figured with a lb of lactose and a lb of C120 I would still get some sweetness. 
Plus, I did want to get the alcohol up a bit.  Maybe I should go with 1/2 a lb of caramelized sucrose for the flavour aspect and see if I get what I'm after without drying it out too much.  But, the goal is toasted marshmallow more than anything else (note the vanilla bean in there too).

Just a thought.... Rather than the caramelized sucrose you might consider taking a gallon of the wort & boiling it separately, reducing it down to a pint or so of syrup. I do this with my Strong Scotch Ales. May not be exactly what you're looking for but I thought I'd throw it out there...  Cheers!!!
Exactly what I was going to suggest. Or if you get some DME you can boil it down ahead of time.
 
Also, I think you need 2 vanilla beans if you're going for creme brulee.
Title: Re: Hopping levels to balance a big milk stout
Post by: Joe Sr. on December 06, 2012, 04:59:07 PM
Can't you reduce and carmelize sweetened condensed milk?

Would this give you what you're looking for?

I think it's more like dulce de leche than creme brulee, but throw in the vanilla and who will know?
Title: Re: Hopping levels to balance a big milk stout
Post by: tschmidlin on December 06, 2012, 06:43:28 PM
I made a milk stout for a wedding this fall. The best one i have ever made by far. 39.5 IBU with a 1.059 OG, so that would give a BU:GU ratio of around .67

The reduced hopping is what gives the bigger impression of sweetness.
Funny, I did one that had a 1.060 OG and 21 IBU that is very popular.  There's a range that works obviously. :)
Title: Re: Hopping levels to balance a big milk stout
Post by: gmac on December 06, 2012, 08:13:29 PM
OK, went with the boil down method as suggested.  Boiled 4 litres down to about 1 litre.  Then added the rest of the wort.
My efficiency went all to crap.  Not sure if that is normal with big beers or what but I usually run about 83% and this time it's more like 67%.  But, it was also really cold in the garage today and over-heated the mash water and mashed in way too hot.  I should have cooled it down first so I don't know what sort of damage I did to the enzymes (temp was 180 when I had everything stirred in, added cold water down to 156). 
Pre-boil was 1.075 before I added the lactose.
Title: Re: Hopping levels to balance a big milk stout
Post by: Jimmy K on December 06, 2012, 09:01:47 PM
The efficiency dive is COMPLETELY normal for high gravity beer.

Edit: There was an article in Zymurgy and with a table of efficiencies at different gravities. It went down to about 50%. I think 67% is actually fantastic!
Title: Re: Hopping levels to balance a big milk stout
Post by: Jimmy K on December 06, 2012, 09:09:43 PM
Edit: There was an article in Zymurgy and with a table of efficiencies at different gravities. It went down to about 50%. I think 67% is actually fantastic!

July/August 2009 Pg 56
Title: Re: Hopping levels to balance a big milk stout
Post by: gmac on January 04, 2013, 07:55:49 PM
Update. 
Took a gravity today and I couldn't believe it but it said 1.014 which is pretty darn low given all the stuff in it.  It tastes pretty good but definitely not "sweet" as I was expecting.  You can really detect the alcohol and it has a definite alcohol "heat" to it.  It'll be interesting to see what this is like a year from now.  The hops are not overly bitter.  I'm not really sure what to think of this right now. 

I'm gonna add the vanilla pods today.  Not sure if that is a good idea or not but I don't get the burnt sugar I was hoping for from the boil down.  Maybe more boiling was needed.
It'll sit for a week or so on the pods and then it's going into 750 ml champagne bottles to bottle condition.  Thinking I'll pitch some champagne yeast or something to bottle condition.  It's probably 10% ABV or so now and I'm worried that the yeast in the beer may not have the ambition to finish conditioning.